RTIwala Explains Pay rise for Women’s Cricket: A top ICC official has urged cricket bodies around the world to follow Australia’s lead and dramatically raise wages for women players. This move should be implemented to stop them dropping out of the sport. Clare Connor, the former England captain who now heads the ICC’s women’s committee, says that other countries must match Australia’s eight-fold increase in wages.”We are all going to think very seriously of how well our players are remunerated,” she said in a phone interview.”Because if we don’t look after them they will go and choose other sports or other professions and that will be a tragedy.”
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The Women’s World Cup this year won by England was hailed as a breakthrough for the women’s cricket game. There were full stadiums and high TV ratings around the globe. But many top players have said there has to be a follow-up from the cricket hierarchy to acknowledge what is a growth area for the sport. Connor said higher pay was a key area for women’s cricket as it moves mainstream and generates increasing commercial opportunities. Cricket Australia’s new pay deal ensured a windfall for its women players, whose total payments have increased from $7.5 million to $55.2 million.
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India’s cricket board, the world’s richest, has also promised a salary increase for women players.”Obviously, the men get in significant commercial revenues to the game,” Connor said. “They (Australia) are certainly setting the bar very high and this is a key issue for lots of countries. It is amazing that international women’s cricket can earn that sort of money,” Connor said.”(India) have got a team that has captured the imagination and they have obviously got a huge number of girls that could be attracted to the game as a result,” she added.
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India captain Mithali Raj, who became the top run-scorer in the women’s one-day game at the World Cup, is hoping the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India will make good on its pledge for higher pay.
“I think the right ambition is that it should be as easy or as accessible for a girl to pick up a cricket bat as it is for a boy to pick up a cricket bat,” said Connor.
(Inputs by Gehna Kundra)